Chapter 5: It Begins
"It's a been over a week!" Frat shouted, holding Link by the shirt collar. "And you've done nothing! Absolutely nothing!"
Link shoved him away. "Do you think I haven't tried? They won't let me do anything! They never do and they never will!"
"You're just a coward!" Frat hissed. "You don't care about anyone but yourself!"
Frat balled up his fist and punched Link in the nose. Frat was stronger than he was, but he gave him a good punch in the stomach. Frat tackled him, kneeing him in the crotch hard. Link yelped and leaned over, only to get Frat's knee slammed in his face. Suddenly someone pulled Frat off of him and threw him across the room into the wall. It was Oliana! She stood between them with her hands on her hips, looking furious.
"What is wrong with you two?" Oliana demanded. "How can you act like this, when Sora needs our help? How could you be so childish?"
"He's done noth-"
"Shut up!" Oliana snapped. "This is absolutely ridiculous! You two are friends! I've never even seen you raise your voices at each other! And now you're beating each other senseless!" Frat began to speak again, but Oliana cut him off, slapping him across the cheek. "Shut up! Don't speak to me until you've come to your senses!"
Oliana stomped out of the room and slammed the door behind her so hard it nearly fell off the hinges. Frat leaned against the wall, breathing hard, his cheek stinging. Link was doubled over on the floor, trying to catch his breath. Frat walked over to him and helped him to his feet. He chuckled.
"Your first bloody nose." Frat teased.
"Actually, Faylah gave me one at one point." Link admitted. "Hurt more than this one."
"Was that an insult?" Frat asked, frowning.
"If it was, will you hit me again?" Link smiled sheepishly.
Frat laughed. "I guess it wasn't. Come, I'll help you get those cleaned up. I'm always cleaning out one of Sora's cuts when she comes back from a day of, riding, climbing trees, and trying to convince herself that water is not her enemy."
"Hmmph! Water's not my enemy." Natori laughed. "It's my friend, brother dear. It made me who I am."
"Wonderful work, Natori." Flynn praised her. "With your brother and friend fighting, it will be easy to get what we need."
"It was too easy." Natori said. "They already have a bit of contempt for each other, deep down inside. Everyone does."
Flynn smiled to himself and curled up in one of the comfortable chairs in Natori's chambers. He had made sure she had only the best of the rooms, with everything to accommodate her. The walls were covered with glowing rainbow mosses and fungi, fertilized by little rivulets of water running down the walls. In one room, the walls were made of crystal and water trickled from the walls to gather in a pool below. The water there was pink, and the way out was a set of crystal chunks, much like stairs.
In the main room, where she slept, there was another waterfall, gathering into a smaller pond near the foot of her bed. The bed itself was more a pile of cushions than anything else, with a curtain that she could pull in front of it. The last room was for sitting and eating, and Flynn had stocked it with all the books she would need to read up on the Dragon Stone.
"Everyone?" Flynn laughed. "I remember you, Natori. So caring about every little thing…it makes me sick to think about it."
"Well my dear, don't think of it then." Natori smiled and embraced him. "That's why I'm here to distract you."
"Are you ever going to stop pacing?"
Frat jumped and turned around, dropping the scroll he had been holding. Oliana stood behind him, her long black hair swaying in the gentle breeze that came through the window. She had her hands on her slender hips; her beautiful blue eyes were narrowed on him. Frat sighed and sat down, holding his head in his hands.
"Look, I know she's your sister." Oliana said. "And I know exactly how you feel-"
"How could you?" Frat demanded. "What do you know anyway? You live here, in this plush castle, surrounded by hundreds of servants who wait on you hand and foot! You know nothing!"
Oliana's eyes flashed with anger. "How can you say that? I lost everything! My family, my home…everything! All you lost is one pain in the ass sister!"
"Excuse me? This isn't the first time I lost my sister! I lost her when I was child and now I've lost her again! How dare you-"
"How dare I?" Oliana asked, incredulously. "How dare <I>I</I>? You…you…I hate you!"
"Don't talk to me!" Oliana turned her back to him and stared out the window.
Frat sighed and moved away from her. <I>Now what?</I> he thought. <I>Now Oliana hates me, and I beat Link senseless, and Sora isn't here.</I> Frat looked up as he heard Oliana break down into sobs. Cautiously, Frat stepped up to her and rested a hand on her shoulder. She turned and hugged him, burying her face against his chest.
"Shhh." Frat murmured. "It's all right. Oh, Oliana…I'm sorry. I really am."
"Its not you Frat."
Frat stroked her hair and held her tightly to him. He began to sing, very softly at first, and then louder. Oliana's sobs slowed, then went away completely. She pulled away from Frat and glanced up at him, her cheeks tear-stained and her eyes red. <I>She's beautiful, no matter what she looks like,</I> Frat thought. He put a hand on either side of her face, leaned down and kissed her softly.
At that moment the door opened, banging against the wall violently and then settling back in place. Oliana and Frat jumped apart, startled by the sudden noise. Link stopped in his mad dash and stared at them both. Oliana turned away and walked back over to the window, her cheeks burning in embarrassment. Frat faced Link with his arm folded over his chest.
"Well…you two sure are getting friendly." Link muttered.
"That's none of you business." Frat said coldly.
Link held up his hands. "Hey, I didn't mean anything by it. Will you just listen to what I have to say? I need your help."
"Why?" Frat asked.
"They won't let me leave to find Sora." Link told him. "But I have to! I need you to get me out of here!."
"It's about damn time!" Frat exclaimed. "I'll take the whole castle on if I need to!"
Link grinned. "That's not necessary. Just get me out."
"Right!" Frat agreed. "Pack your bags, Your Majesty, we're going on a vacation!"
Natori leaned over the book on her desk, reading it thoroughly. She needed to milk everything out of it that she could, because she didn't really trust this Flynn person one bit. Something about the whole thing wasn't right and Natori was determined to find out what. Unfortunately all the books she was provided with held only information on the Dragonstone, and none said anything about her part in this. When she had asked Flynn, he had quickly brushed it off and changed the subject. Now Natori was more suspicious.
She knew that she was formally a small, weakling girl name Sora. She had been drowned into her current state, but her memory as to who had drowned her had been erased. She knew only that she hated this person and wanted her revenge. She figured that the hate came from Sora, the girl she had once been. What if that person inside her could be reclaimed?
Nonsense! All of these thoughts were nonsense, mere whimsy. Even if her former person could be reclaimed, why would she want to be that sniveling brat again? Natori was strong in this form, a person to be reckoned with. And yet she still had some human emotion in her, because she felt sorry for the girl she had once been.
"Natori." Flynn said, startling her out of her thoughts. "What are you doing? Get to work!"
"I am working!" Natori snapped. "I can only do so much…maybe if these books described more about my job as the Power Field…"
"No other books have such information." Flynn told her. "These are the only ones."
"Why don't I believe you?" Natori frowned at him. "You won't even tell me who drowned me…the least you could do is give me more information."
"I will do no such thing." Flynn spread his hands. "I would not, even if I could. You know just about everything there is to know, and that is plenty enough."
"Then there is something you're not telling me." Natori said. "And I will find out what."
"Get to work!" Flynn growled. "You belong to me and you are here to do my bidding! If you do not, you will be drowned again."
Natori glared at him even after he stomped out the door and slammed it behind him. How dare he treat her in such a manner! Once she was free of him, she would get her revenge on him for this treatment. She hated living under ground, no matter how hard he had tried to accommodate her. She wanted to be out in the open, where she could run and breathe well, and eat food that wasn't tainted. Yes…as soon as she was free, she would have all these things.
Link lay in his bed, staring at the ceiling, deep in thought. He was supposed to be catching some sleep, because it wasn't long before Frat, Oliana and Poonta would be getting him out of here. But he couldn't sleep, because thought nagged at him like Cara did when she was upset with him. And then, like being hit like a tidal wave, sleep fell in on him, leaving him in one of those dreams…
<I>Link stood in Saba's cave, as he usually did when he dreamed about this. Standing across from him was Sora…no, that couldn't have been Sora. She had Sora's face, but she dressed in a black velvet gown that clung tightly to her slim figure. Her expression was an angry, evil one, her eyes glared at him, her lip curled up in disdain. This could not be Sora!
"Sora?" Link asked, despite his resolution.
"That </I>used<I> to be my name." She sneered. "Now, you may call me Natori."
"Sora…I mean, Natori." Link corrected himself. "Are you okay? I mean, despite this…new attitude…you weren't hurt were you?"
Natori hesitated. "Why should you care?"
"Because, no matter what you look like, or what you name is, you're still my Sora." Link answered. "You've always been there for me."
"Shut up!" Natori snapped. "You know nothing about me!"
"I know some about you." Link said. "But you keep to yourself a lot…I don't understand a lot about you…or this damned cave either! It makes me feel different!"
"Me too…" Natori said softly. "I don't understand it either…but that doesn't matter! I want to go back home!"
"You're home is with me and your brother Frat and our friends." Link said. "Not wherever it is you are now…come home to us Sora!"
"That is not my name!" Natori said.
"It is your name!" Link crossed his arms. "It is. And don't you try to tell me otherwise."
"Now, Link," Saba said, walking into the room. "You two must get along. Much depends on it…for now. But I want no smooching, understood?"
"Ugh!" Natori exclaimed. "I wouldn't kiss him if he was the last man alive!"
"Good." Saba said. "Now both of you, scat! I have work to do. I'll be seeing you both tomorrow night."
"What is going on, Saba?" Link demanded.
"You'll find out soon enough! Now both of you, go!"</I>
Natori woke up, breathing hard. She rolled over and threw the covers to the floor, sitting up. She scrambled out of bed, stumbled across the cold stone ground into the other chamber, and threw herself into the water there. Sobbing loudly, Natori curled herself into a ball, half under the shallow water. She cried until no more tears would come, until her eyes were red and sore and her throat was dry from screaming.
Sora sat up and curled her legs underneath her, staring around the room with blurred vision. For a moment she had know idea where she was or who she was. And then it came back like a rush, slapping her across the face. She was Natori Tino, not that pathetic little princess, and she had a job to do. Natori stood and shook herself off.
"Tomorrow." Natori murmured. "Tomorrow…it begins."
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